Understanding Organic Food Qualities in the Global South: An East African Perspective

  •  Francis Richard Jumba    
  •  Bernhard Freyer    
  •  Julius Mwine    
  •  Phillip Dietrich    


Quality is a major component of the process of food production, delivery and consumption because it plays an influential role in consumer acceptability of the food. It has been widely suggested that food quality consists of both tangible and intangible (e.g., aesthetic) components although much of the debate has been based in the global north with little focus on southern countries. This paper therefore aims at exploring the concept of quality and more specifically organic food quality in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). We carry out an extensive review of the relevant literature on food quality from a variety of electronic databases while exploring the cross cutting issues that are intrinsically connected to it in a bid to better understand both its explicit and implicit components. The findings suggest that in addition to the product and process qualities prominent in the global north, organic food in East Africa possesses context specific qualities which appear to play a greater role in the understanding of food quality within rural farming households because they satisfy some of their most pressing needs. This implies that how quality is interpreted will always depend on the situation or circumstances under which the user is operating in whether at the microcosmic (individual) or macrocosmic (regional) level.


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